Beer at 2014 World Cup a must – FIFA

2012-01-20 08:25

FIFA insisted that Brazil must allow beer to be sold at World Cup 2014 matches even though the sale of alcohol is banned in its stadiums.

“Alcoholic drinks are part of the FIFA World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant but that’s something we won’t negotiate,” secretary general Jerome Valcke said at the end of a visit to Brazil to meet with the local organising committee.

The FIFA official has insisted on several occasions that it wanted authorisation for beer sales in the stadium, and had stressed that Brazil was warned of that when it was chosen to host the 2014 World Cup.

FIFA has an agreement with its sponsor, the US-based Anheuser Busch brand Budweiser, and forbidding beer sales would cut into the football organisation’s revenues from the games.

Sale of alcoholic beverages in stadiums is prohibited in Brazil, but a bill now making its way through the Congress would create an exception, allowing beer to be sold in plastic cups at World Cup matches.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said he was confident the bill would be passed by the Congress in March.

“I think we should have a final position,” said Valcke, adding, “We are not talking about all kinds of alcoholic beverages, only beer.”

On another issue, Valcke expressed concern that work on a World Cup stadium in Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Nord, was way behind schedule, and said FIFA would be monitoring the project closely.

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